There was a time when businesses hated social media. They thought it was a waste of effort, a resource drain, and lacked accountability and upside. While, many businesses are still late to the party and others are just plan using them incorrectly, several brands/companies have leveraged social media to be a useful tool to generate brand awareness, leads and most importantly activating brand enthusiasts.
So the recent spate of governments, particularly democratic governments, wanting to curb the power of the Internet has perturbed me. Why are democracies infringing upon its citizens free speech? Particularly allowing them to make their own decisions.
Most recently one of the world’s largest democracies, India, has begun asking websites to screen content and even take down content that it deems inappropriate. Indian Telecommunications Minister, Kapil Sibal, meet with Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft in a bid to get them to see how some of the content on their sites – social networks and otherwise – was harming the delicate sensibilities of the Indian people. Government officials were particularly upset about Web pages that are insulting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, ruling Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi and major religious figures. Mr Sibal over the past three months has asked these firms to come up with a voluntary framework to keep offensive material off the Internet. Continue reading